Fiduciary Duty

Fiduciary Duty

If you  are seeking to be a guardian over an incapacitated person, or have accepted the position as someone’s agent in a Power of Attorney document, or have assumed the role of Trustee of a Trust, it is important to know that you have assumed a legal duty as a fiduciary.

Your beloved aunt Mary has developed Alzheimer’s Disease and is no longer capable of paying bills, maintaining insurance, applying for government assistance, buying a health plan or generally managing her finances and legal affairs. Before she became ill, she signed a Durable Power of Attorney, in which she nominated you as her agent. If you accept the duties, then you are required to act in Aunt Mary’s best interest, act honestly and in good faith, keep her assets separate from yours, and keep good records. Good and accurate bookkeeping  will be needed if you are required to produce an accounting.  Legal guardians of the property in Florida, are required to provide an accounting of the ward’s finances on an annual basis. A Trust instrument or Durable Power of Attorney document will typically contain provisions for when and under what circumstances an accounting is required.

Diane Zuckerman, Esq.  Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning for Long Term Care, Probate, Wills, and Guardianship